Feminism is, in so many words, about encouraging everyone to make peaceful lifestyle choices regardless of any aspect of their identity.
But according to critics of Emma Watson, who posed half-naked in a new issue of Vanity Fair, if you’re a woman, your activism and political concerns can only be taken seriously depending on what you’re wearing.
Emma Watson: "Feminism, feminism… gender wage gap… why oh why am I not taken seriously… feminism… oh, and here are my tits!" pic.twitter.com/gb7OvxzRH9— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) March 1, 2017
Granted, if one were to call out Watson for hypocrisy, there would be some validity — just not on the basis of breasts and one’s attire devaluing their activism. Watson has, after all, previously accused Beyoncé of sexualizing feminism and catering to the male gaze.
The unfortunate reality of the situation is that female empowerment and sexual liberation are too often confused with objectification, and vice versa. But ultimately, however blurry the lines might be, as a general rule, let’s not attack the choices women actively make for themselves. That means Twitter trolls ceasing to invalidate Watson’s activism because of her choice to participate in a revealing photoshoot — and that also means Watson ceasing to invalidate Beyoncé’s feminism for its powerful sexual undertones.